TI-Chips' Online

Articles, November/December 1998 Newsletter


By Glenn Bernasek

I joined the TI-Chips TI-99/4A User Group in June, 1986 in response to a postcard invitation and the need for answers and help for me with the TI-99/4A home computer I had purchased in October 1983. I wasn't fully prepared for the sight that greeted me when I walked into my first meeting of the TI-Chips. The North Royalton library meeting room was filled with people, and there was TI-99/4A schematics and cassette software everywhere. Everyone was talking about different ways to program, modify and operate the TI-99/4A. I was clearly taken back by the knowledge and friendliness of the members. The comfort level was high and I knew I had found a home.

I had heard about installing a 'huge' 32K bytes of memory into the TI, and I found the TI-Chips was able and more than willing to help me learn how to do this. The operational words of this user group were: "Helping and Sharing". Schematics were available for the asking and good advice was happily given to those who needed it.

My next project for the TI was to install Extended Basic in the console. Once again I was able to turn to my fellow members in the TI-Chips user group. Not only was I given several options to try, I was also provided with detailed explanations and diagrams. Better I couldn't ask for. Both help and sharing were abundantly evident.

During my enjoyable membership in the TI-Chips user group, I saw countless demonstrations of excellent software written for this powerful system. But as with all that is good and not-so-good, things change and time marches on. Nothing remains forever the same. The TI-Chips recognized this and took measures to accomodate the members who were experiencing or had under gone the change to other computer systems. We kept the friendships we had developed, while at the same time enabling those who move on to other systems to feel as much a part of the user group as always. The TI-Chips opened our meeting agenda to include discussions, questions, tutoring and demonstrations on systems other than the TI-99/4A or Myarc 'Geneve' 9640 as needed.

I enjoy the friendly bantering and social interaction with my fellow TIers very much. These are my friends and they have become an important part of my life. However, I find it very reassuring to know that I also have a source of continuing help and sharing of knowledge for the computer system of my choice in the user group which I belong. A computer user group, regardless of system used, is still, by 'natural definition', a resource for computer help and sharing. The evolution from a user group for the 'founding' computer system (TI-99/4A) to a user group servicing all members and all systems can only take place if the user group is willing to accomodate the computer evolutionary changes its membership has and is experiencing.

My TI-99/4A is still, and will remain, set up next to my MS-DOS (Comaq 410C) as an enjoyable hobby system and as a back-up system if and when the Compaq goes belly-up (as it has done more than once). This does not mean that I've lost interest in the TI-99/4A, but rather that I enjoy knowing that I can also get answers to questions I may have on both the TI and non-TI systems from my fellow user group members. To repeat and modify what I said above, "My comfort level IS high, and I KNOW that I had found a home."

Date: Mon Nov 24 09:58:56 1997
From: mjmw@ix.netcom.com (Mike Wright)
Subject: Re: TI99: PC99 files

Source for PC99 software:

CaDD Electronics will send you free of charge the complete Tigercub disk collection. You can thank Charles Good for the unenviable task of transferring the 500+ disks from the 4A to PC99 (I guess that shows that the PC99 transfer utilities really work!). You can get them in two ways:

  1. Send Zip disk and return postage (assumes you have an Iomega Zip drive)
  2. Download from web. If you email me (mjmw@ix.netcom.com) I can place the disks in a single 37Mb file that takes about 6 hours to download.

PC99 and TI-Writer

If you go to a 4A, insert the TI-Writer cartridge, put a disk in drive 1 that does not contain the TI-Writer Editor (EDITA1), select TI-Writer, and then Edit, you will get "7 = FILE ERROR". The cartridge is telling you that it can't find the Editor.

If you do the equivalent in PC99 you will get the same result. You need to copy the TI-Writer disk to dsk1.

> c:
> cd \pc99\dsk
> copy phd5089.dsk dsk1 [warning: will destroy dsk1] and then run TI-Writer.

Mike Wright
(for CaDD Electronics)

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